Remember earlier this summer when I introduced you to the Scholastic Mother Daughter Book Club
for middle readers? I'm committed to featuring or reviewing all the
books selected for this club because I think Scholastic has picked
winning titles that have broad appeal..
Don't forget that the Scholastic book club site includes more information about the books, recipes, reading guides, and contests. The resources are perfect for book clubs, teachers, homeschoolers, and any one who wants to get more out of reading books with middle grade readers.
From the moment she wakes up, Amanda's birthday seems off to a rocky start: her dad has a cold, she forgot her school lunch, and her big sister is in a crabby mood. Plus Amanda's worried that her friends will be going to Leo's party instead of hers because his parents hired a band. When her own party that night turns out to be a dud, Amanda can't wait to go to sleep and begin a new day.
But when she wakes up in the morning it's not Saturday! To Amanda's confusion and fear, she's forced to live out her birthday again and again. Will she ever figure out a way to get back in sync with time?
Of course, you've immediately seen the similarity to the movie Groundhog Day, but Amanda's story is geared to young readers and incorporates some different themes. Amanda and Leo (who is also stuck in time) must research town lore, understand that there are consequences to their actions, learn that friendships have their ups and downs, and find some inner strength before they can wake to a new day.
I just couldn't help falling for Amanda. Author Wendy Mass clearly remembers what it's like to be a preteen, caught between being a little kid and an official teenager. Most girls will be able to relate to Amanda and her friends and will laugh at some of their antics.
The ten discussion questions over at the Scholastic mother-daughter book club site are sure to start some good conversations. And the apple cupcake recipe is a perfect choice for Amanda and Leo (you'll have to read the book to know why).
The discussion questions on the book club site have to do with finding one's courage and paying attention to one's instincts. There are also themes of learning cooperation, the strength of family, and figuring out puzzles. The recipe for this book is honey cheesecake squares, which Rye's mother may have made her sons.
I can't wait to finish The Golden Door; I love fantasies that involve quests and myth. Plus Rye and his family are easy to root for because Emily Rodda's characters are so well developed. In addition, as Publishers Weekly pointed out, Rye's journey is not one of a higher calling but more of a personal mission to find the brothers he loves.
This post will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted by Julie at Booking Mama.
Buy 11 Birthdays at an Indie or at a bookstore near you (link leads to an affiliate program).
Scholastic Press, 2009; ISBN-13: 9780545052399
Buy The Golden Door at an Indie or at a bookstore near you (link leads to an affiliate program).
Scholastic Press, 2011; ISBN-13: 99780545429900
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).